My son is moving and would like to take his climbing rose with him. If he planted his rose in a deep flower pot for the winter, will it be okay? He doesn’t want it to freeze or die. Also, he would like to start new bushes with cuttings from this plant. What would be the best way to do this?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Laura: Ideally you would want to keep the rose where it is through the early winter months and then come back and dig it next spring. If that is not an option, you can dig it now and transplant it into the ground at the new garden. Keeping it in a container during the winter should be your last option. The best time of year to move your rose is late winter/early spring while it is dormant. It is less stressful on the plant and this is key to a successful move. Transplanting a climbing rose is tricky now because you will need to prune it in order to free it from its trellis, and pruning at this time of the year will make it more susceptible to winter damage. Preparing the new hole is important to do before digging up the existing plant. The faster you can get it back into the soil the better. As with any transplant, it is important to keep as many of the roots attached as possible. As for creating new plants, the spring or early summer is the best time to take your cuttings. Use a clean, sharp pair of pruners and take your cuttings from the newest growth. The cuttings should be 6-8 inches long. Remove all foliage except for the top leaves and dip the end of the cutting in water and then a rooting hormone, which you should be able to find at your local garden center. Plant your cuttings in small containers filled with a vermiculite, perlite mixture, or any well-drained container mix. Place in a bright place but out of the full sun. Keep the soil evenly moist. Your cutting should root in six to eight weeks. You can tug gently on the cutting to see if it has rooted yet. Gradually work it into full sun so the new growth will not burn.